It all started one normal school night last year when I saw some of my blogging/ photography friends on Facebook talking about going to this retreat for girls who love photography, etc. They kept saying how much they wanted to go and how awesome it looked, etc, etc. I clicked on the website link they had shared under their post (like every other curious person who read their posts that night) and then I began to look over the website; that’s when I started dreaming. I then scrolled down only to find out that it was in Washington state! I immediately thought. “Well, okay then. I guess that’s never going to happen. It’s on the whole other side of the country! There is no way that I would be able to first of all, convince my dad to let me go that far for a photography girls retreat and secondly, how in the world would I come up with that amount of money for the trip and registration??”
I remember going to bed that night thinking about how on earth I could make it happen. That’s when I prayed. “God, if it’s meant to be, please make a way for me to go to this retreat this year, find another similar one closer to home to go to, or at least help me to find other ways to be encouraged in my photography.” I continued to pray for Him to make a way, if it was meant to be. April 2012 came and went, I saw pictures posted about the retreat on Facebook and posts about how much the girls had learned, made new friends, and were encouraged. Before I knew it, a whole year had gone by and it was time to start registering for this year’s Delight retreat.
I remember that day too–just like it was yesterday. I read about it, glanced over the website again, and then I said a prayer. “God, if you truly do want me there. Just make a way. Reveal a way for me to get there if it’s your will.” I waited, I prayed, I caught myself dreaming about how awesome it would be to go and meet such amazing Christian ladies…
I started emailing with Mrs. Kristin at the first of this year and a few times she mentioned that she would love for me to come be at the retreat this year. I continued to pray about it, talked with my dad, and then I got sick in February and during that time the spots filled up. I told her that I really didn’t think it was going to happen with school, me being sick, the distance, etc. We emailed back and forth a few more times and she would occasionally mention that she really felt like God was telling her that I was supposed to be there. I continued to pray that God would make a way.
That’s when I had accepted the fact that God had bigger plans and must have something else in store for me. Maybe, something bigger, better, something closer to North Carolina. I just felt like He was telling me “Just trust me, Emily. I have it under control. Be patient.” I know it’s crazy, but even up to last Monday, I was still praying that if this was actually meant to happen that He would reveal a way, even though the spots were filled up already…
That’s when I got a message out of the blue on Facebook last Wednesday night from Mrs. Kristin. She mentioned that “someone that she knew had felt like God was telling her to donate money towards airfare for a girl to come to the retreat and that I had a spot in April if I still wanted to come.” I was completely stunned; blown away and so utterly excited about this opportunity “that might actually happen after all.” –I talked about it with my dad some more over the weekend, got to Skype with Mrs. Kristin, and prayed about it some more just to make sure I was making the right decision.
Well, I can now officially tell you all that I’m actually going to the Washington state for the Delight Retreat in April!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All the glory to God!! He knows our hopes and our dreams and He always has much bigger plans ahead for us then we could EVER imagine. Promise me that you will always put your trust in Him. He knows what He’s doing.
--You can read Mrs. Kristin's side of the story HERE. It's amazing to see how God was working everything out in both of our lives. ;)